Dearham Parish

  Is bounded on the west by the sea, on the north by the river Ellen, on the east by Gilcrux1 parish, and on the south by the township of Dovenby and parish of Flimby. The soil is chiefly clay, or loam (except near the coast, where there is a vein of light sandy land), and produces excellent crops of wheat and oats, &c. Coal is raised here in great abundance and shipped at Maryport for the Irish market. The parish is divided into the two townships of Dearham and Ellenborough with Unerigg, containing 1803 inhabitants and 3878 acres of land, rated at 4281, including the rateable value of the collieries, which amounts to 784 7s. 6d. Its principal land owners are lord Lonsdale and John and Thomas Walker, but several others have estates here, many of whom are residents.

Dearham township has a village situated 2 miles E. of Maryport, and in 1841 contained 1037 inhabitants. "The manor, town, and church of Dearham," says Hutchinson, "were granted out in moieties by Alan, second lord of Allerdale, who gave one moiety to Simon Shefflings, whose posterity took the name of Dearham; and the other moiety was by him given to Dolphin, son of Gospatric." It subsequently passed to the Lamplughs, one of whom sold it to the Lowthers, so that the earl of Lonsdale is now lord of the manor. Henry Tupman Christian, Esq., is the patron of the vicarage, which has been augmented with 400 - of which 200 was given by the dowager countess Gower, and the other 200 was obtained from queen Anne's bounty. It was certified to the ecclesiastical commissioners at 85, but is now worth about 120 per annum, and enjoyed by the Rev. James Currie, who resides at the vicarage house - a commodious dwelling near the church.

The Church, which was rectorial, was granted by Alice de Bromley to the prior and convent of St. Mary, at Gisburn. It is an ancient structure, but was greatly modernised in 1814. Hutchinson says there is an inscription on one of the windows, which the learned Pegge read thus :-"Geofry Goding repaired these windows in the year 1150." Here is a curiously carved font. The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village, built in 1833.

Ellenborough is a large village, chiefly occupied by colliers, 1 mile E.S.E. of Maryport. Its township contains 766 inhabitants, but only 943A. 2R. 33P. of land, including 104 acres of common, now about to be divided amongst the owners of the soil; its rateable value is 2827 10s. The Roman station2, generally described with this village, is situated at the north side of the river Ellen, and is already noticed, together with the manor, of which J. P. Senhouse, Esq., is lord. Lord chief justice Law, derived his title from this place, being created baron Ellenborough in 18023.

Unerigg, or Ewanrigg, which comprises only a few dispersed houses, is said to have derived its name from one Ewan, a northern king, or chieftain, from whom it passed, soon after the Norman Conquest, to the Ewanriggs, and afterwards to the Multon family, to whom succeeded the Thwaites and Christians; and it is now possessed by H. T. Christian, Esq., of Unerigg Hall - a fine mansion, with good prospects.


Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847




1. Gilcrux is pronounced Gillcrew.
2. For the Roman Station, see Cross Canonby parish.
3. A reference to the charities of Ellenborough has been omitted.

29 April 2008

Steve Bulman